In late May, as the MTA unveiled its push to trim its massive budget gap, the authority pledged to control overtime costs. The authority’s financial gurus believed that the MTA could save $22 million in 2010 through better policing of overtime abuse and better oversight of sick day use. Yesterday, the agency announced it has exceeded its goal and then some as overtime reductions will reach $54 million in 2010 alone.
“Reducing overtime is a key part of our efforts to use every fare and taxpayer dollar wisely, and I am pleased that we have been able to achieve real results in just a few months,” MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder said. “We have a lot of work still to do, but we’ve shown that by focusing in key areas we can earn critically needed savings across our agencies.”
According to the MTA, various policies and operating procedures have led to these cost savings which will continue in the future. At Transit, for instance, the MTA saved $24 million by limiting overtime to critical activities and filling vacancies that were creating a high need for overtime. At the commuter railroads, the MTA worked to “rebalance workloads” to cut down on overtime, and at Bridges and Tunnels, employees must be pre-approved for overtime and can no longer accrue hours during vacation time. With overtime reductions already amounting to 11 percent, I wonder what more New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will find in his upcoming forensic audit.